You be the judge……..

OK. I need your opinion here on a vital security issue. Here’s the scenario: We were leaving for a long weekend. We would be trading houses with good friends in Charlottesville. We were going there to visit our granddaughters while our friends were going to enjoy some beach time here. At issue was where to leave them the key to the house. Patty wisely left this up to me.

It would only beΒ  a couple of hours after we left before our house guests arrived. It would be broad daylight. However, I am super conscious when it comes to security. I decided that the best place would be under a rock. But here’s where my ingenious mind comes into play. Part of our landscaping is a rock garden along the front of the house. I picked a fairly conspicuous rock about 3-4 feet in from the walk. Under cover of darkness, I placed the key under the rock. The code breakers in Bletchley Park in Britain would not have been able to find this key. I then called our friends with the description. It went like this: “it’s a darker, triangular-shaped rock with white speckles and a chip in it about a yard of so in from the walk.”

About halfway on our drive, I told my wife about my cryptic choice, all the while trying to tone down the braggadocio. She was horrified. “Why are you making them go on a treasure hunt?”, she cried out.Β  “Why didn’t you leave it under the mat on the front porch?”, she continued, still with a look of disbelief on her face. “Because someone might have been casing our house for weeks just waiting for the time we would pack the car and drive off”, I replied in my usual calm, logical and coherent manner. “That’s the first place they would look.”I added. “But our friends will be there in a couple of hours!” she exclaimed. “A pro could empty the entire house in two hours”, I quickly retorted. She acquiesced, finally having seen the wizardry in my plan, I assume.

I invite you to look at the pictures below and see if you can pick out the rock.

Can you spot the rock?

How about now?



Now choose one of the statements below to describe how you view this situation.

1. Sheer genius, Big Al. Why are you not head of the CIA? (Did I mention you will be handsomely rewarded for choosing this one?)

2. Great idea, Al. What’s your address and when will you be going to see the kiddies again?

3. Although I see the merit of your idea, I am a woman and I am siding with your wife anyway. Duh.

4. Another typical clueless male, always making life more complicated than it has to be. Your poor wife.

5. The degree of dumbness of hiding a key in a rock garden is exceeded only by the number of rocks in your head.

6. Only a certifiable idiot would post to over 400,000 people where he hides the key to his house!

Just so you know, they found the key with no problem. Now aren’t you sorry you chose 3-6?

50 thoughts on “You be the judge……..

  1. Have you changed your blog theme? It’s showing up differently on my iPad now? How come you didn’t put a poll with this post?

    I’m ill in bed again so find myself ‘backreading’ your blog again, this time I was actually looking for your post about Patty’s Thanksgiving turkeys which don’t come up when I search for thanksgiving or turkeys, so I have decided to read back through all your posts in the category family…..

    Not sure if it will work, but fun all the same & I’m getting to read posts I haven’t come across before! (Although I think it’s just my memory is fading as I am beginning to recollect having read this one before after all!!)

    • Good morning, Barbara. Sorry to hear you are laid up again. Is the CFS acting up again? Maybe the new job was asking a bit much from your body.

      Glad to know my post provide a little diversion. By the way, are you on twitter? If you are, my handle is herrwictor. We could chat there sometime.

      Thanks for the tip on the new theme. I didn’t check it very closely. I’ll clean that up. Get better.

  2. Ok, your entering the world of rational madness where people like me live. It all sounds pretty rational but I wouldn’t have fancied trying to find that in the dark. Lets hope they got in OK and it wasn’t raining, or is that just a British worryt.

  3. That’s probably the rock I’d pick up to throw at the neighbor’s dog who was leaving a treasure in my yard again. Have you tried the ol’ under the door mat trick?

    • When I was in the Navy, lo those many years ago, I taught cryptographics to new officers. Since that time, everything has to have a little mystery to it or it’s no fun. I’m also a problem solver by nature so the more complicated, the better.

      Thanks for commenting, Barb.

  4. I had no trouble at all spotting that rock…once you got to the photo taken with a neutron microscope.

    Have you ever seen those fake rocks with a secret compartment inside? You could leave it somewhere a little easier to spot than in a field of 5 bajillion rocks next to a house made out of rocks. Just a thought.

  5. After I locked David out of the house a couple of times, he hid a key to the front door on a nail he pounded into the inside of the back fence. When the big snow came a year or two ago, I locked myself out. Not only could I not make it to the back fence in my bedroom slippers in 3 feet of snow drift, I could not get the back gate open if i did.

    So, I now keep a keyl under a pot on my porch. You would have to look under every pot to find it, but even if you turned up the pot where it is hidden, you could not see the key because it sticks to the bottom of the pot encased in roots coming out the drain hole. I know I tried to find it the other day when I locked myself out again. Now that’s ingenious. Dianne

  6. I have to side with you on this one, Al, because I have been married to an ultra security conscious, ex-narc, ex-police chief for forty years. He has trained me well.

  7. I’m worried, Al. I could spot the rock. Now you have to come with another hiding place and face the ire/disgust of your wife and the odd admiration of your loyal fans. Maybe you should plan another trip for the fall, when there are loads of leaves on the ground… πŸ˜‰

  8. Patty is a Saint!! As is my husband who finally, in great frustration after I lost, misplaced, whatever the umpteenth key to the door, had a number code garage door opener installed. Now if we can just remember the number code and the battery doesn’t go dead…….

  9. This may sound strange but I think I spied a drainpipe, so why did you not put it in the drainpipe…that seems more logical….sorry Al, forgot you are of the male species…that answers my own question

  10. LOL at first I thought it was brilliant…..until I saw the ‘rock’ garden. I did however spot the rock in the 2nd to last photo. πŸ™‚ If you’d had this planned for a while why couldn’t you just mail them a spare key and have them leave it in the house when they left?

    BTW I do think you would be good in the CIA. πŸ™‚

    Oh and thank you for the ‘barksnbytes’ website suggestion, I loved it, but it was taken already. 😦

  11. I like this blog, Big Al. It reminded me that we once had a fake plastic rock with a sliding door in the bottom in which to hide a key. Now we leave a key in a magnetic box and attach it to various places in the utility room. Only problem is the hubby and I tend to put it back in different places. He can’t find where I put it, and vice versa.

    • That’s funny Bernice. I can see that happening with us.

      By the way,the utility room is the one just off the sun room, right?

        • Now that you mention it, you know you can stay with us anytime you visit Brooke, but the drive back and forth might get a little tedious. If you get back after dark, bring a flashlight, that rock is doubly hard to find at night.

  12. I think I would have had trouble identifying the rock in question. And if I were a very harried traveller arriving in a strange place, possibly a little panicky about losing someone else’s key then I probably wouldn’t have coped with the treasure hunt. I’m all for plant pots and food bins or anything else that random strangers probably won’t be kicking against (so not door mats). And if you don’t mind me saying, I think it’s possibly an issue that you’re that paranoid about strangers casing your place! Happy holidays and I’m glad that they found the key after all. πŸ˜‰

    • PS. If there really were that many strangers casing your house, wouldn’t they have been suspicious about the amount of photos you were taking of random rocks?!

      PPS. Those aren’t rocks. Those are pebbles. It’s like trying to find a key on a beach. πŸ˜‰

    • Hi eye. You’re still fairly new to my warped humor so I can see why you think I’m paranoid. While it’s true that I’m security conscious, I’m kidding about the house casing. That is, unless you’re the one that drives that dark blue sedan with the shaded windows. Hmmmm?

Your turn to write, but please don't be wittier than me. My ego is quite fragile.

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